Cranial surgery with an expanded compact intraoperative magnetic resonance imager: Technical note

Michael Schulder, Sussan Salas, Michael Brimacombe, Peter Fine, Jeffrey Catrambone, Allen H. Maniker, Peter W. Carmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In this article the authors report the implementation of an expanded compact intraoperative magnetic resonance (iMR) imager that is designed to overcome significant limitations of an earlier unit. The PoleStar N20 iMR imager has a stronger magnetic field than its predecessor (0.15 tesla compared with 0.12 tesla), a wider gap between magnet poles, and an ergonomically improved gantry design. The additional time needed in the operating room (OR) for use of iMR imaging and the number of sessions per patient were recorded. Stereotactic accuracy of the integrated navigational tool was assessed using a water-covered phantom. Of the 55 patients who have undergone surgery in the PoleStar N20 device, diagnoses included glioma in 13, meningioma in 12, pituitary adenoma in nine, other skull base lesions in seven, and miscellaneous other diagnoses. The extra time required for use of the system averaged 1.1 hours (range 0.5-2 hours). Imaging sessions averaged 2.3 per surgery (range one-six sessions). Measurement of stereotactic accuracy revealed that T1-weighted images were the most accurate. Thinner slices yielded measurably greater accuracy, although this was of questionable clinical significance (all sequences ≤ 4 mm had a mean error of ≤ 1.8 mm). The position of the phantom in the center compared with the periphery of the magnetic field did not affect accuracy (mean error 0.9 mm for each). The PoleStar N20 appears to make intraoperative neuroimaging with a low-field-strength magnet much more practical than it was with the first-generation device. Greater ease of positioning resulted in a decrease in added time in the OR and encouraged a larger number of imaging sessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Brain tumor
  • Imaging-guided surgery
  • Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging
  • Surgical navigation


Dive into the research topics of 'Cranial surgery with an expanded compact intraoperative magnetic resonance imager: Technical note'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this